Patrick Edlinger Reported Dead

11/16/12 - A French newspaper is reporting that Patrick Edlinger, one of the great free climbers of the 1980s, has died at home at age 52. No cause of death was given.

Edlinger was one of the leading figures in the sport climbing revolution, putting up numerous routes and free climbing as hard as 8c (5.14b) in the late 1980s. He also free-soloed routes as hard as 5.13b, and he won many major competitions, including an early international event at Snowbird Lodge in Utah. With his elegant climbing, his headband, short shorts, and long hair—he was known as "Le Blond"—Edglinger embodied French style at a time when the French were defining modern rock climbing.

Edlinger also launched climbing development at the great crag above Ceüse, France, creating numerous spicy routes with widely spaced bolts. Asked years later why he didn't put in more bolts, Edlinger said it was simply because he and his partners didn't have enough money. They wanted to put up lots of routes, and thus they had to ration their bolts.

More details on Edlinger's death will be provided as they become available.

Watch this video clip for classic footage of Edlinger climbing in France's Verdon Gorge, including a barefoot free-solo:


Previous Comments

This is sad. That's far too young. Sincere condolences to his family and friends, God Speed PE.

Mike Cook - 11/29/2012 3:46:17

I was lucky to have witnessed that magnificent feat of climbing at Snowbird. Nothing has given me more inspiration than thinking about that magic moment. Merci Patrick Christopher Lawrence

Christopher Lawrence - 11/28/2012 10:43:19

One or may be the best technily. for sure no ego the best mindset!!! One of my hero pasted away. still with us when climbing a rock. now he s climbing something else for sure. pensees sinceres a ta famille .

fabien - 11/25/2012 8:10:49

A few months ago we were on a climbing trip in Verdon. Hoping to run into Patrick Edlinger but never did.. I thought of him and his solo's in the Gorge while we were there, he was one of the greats and someone that I admired since I started climbing. My condolences to his family.

Tony Mayse - 11/22/2012 5:57:00

Very sad. When I was starting out his poster was was on my wall and every time i put my flash tights on i thought of him and of being, invinsible! Vale Patrick Edlinger.

David Barnes - 11/21/2012 10:25:09

I'm still climbing at 56 because of great climbers and videos Like this RIP

Jesse - 11/21/2012 9:37:17

There's two people left to climb in the finals and no one has even gotten to the base of the overhang. ... Then along comes Patrick Edlinger, the androgynous Michael Jackson of climbing. He slowly puts on his shoes, never once glancing up at the wall. When he starts up he moves smoothly and quickly. All the women are ga-ga and everyone is in disbelief at how beautifully he climbs. Before you know it, he's up at the overhang. A ray of sun hits the lip just as his white hand reaches over. Le Blond swings over the roof, stands in balance, and jams both hands simultaneously into his chalk bag. The crowd goes nuts. Nobody cares if he is American, French, or Serbo-Croatian. What matters is that for a brief moment we have been treated to great art. by Yvon Chouinard, Climbing magazine No 109 Aug 1988

Johnny Quest - 11/21/2012 7:53:31

A small but incorrect fact in the article: His win was at the Clif Lodge, not the Snowbird Lodge. The author was probably in diapers when he won this awesome event. :)

theREALangry - 11/19/2012 7:43:04

RIP, Thanks

Maria - 11/19/2012 1:46:27

That's how you live to climb.... Thanks Patrick

Scott Rourke - 11/18/2012 9:19:19